- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2002

SWITZERLAND
Voice experts suspect bin Laden tape a fraud
MARTIGNY Swiss voice experts said yesterday that an audio recording broadcast this month and thought to be the voice of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden could be a fake.
"The authenticity is certainly questionable, there is doubt," said professor Herve Bourlard, head of the Swiss voice-research institute IDIAP. "Based on the data, we are around 55 to 60 percent confident that it may not be bin Laden."

COLOMBIA
Paramilitaries to begin cease-fire tomorrow
BOGOTA Colombia's largest paramilitary group will begin a unilateral cease-fire tomorrow in its long-running battle against Marxist rebels, the group's leaders announced yesterday.
The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia said it has faith that the government of President Alvaro Uribe is serious about cracking down on rebels, so it will stop all offensives against the rebels and suspected sympathizers. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is to visit Colombia next week.

SPAIN
More oil heads to Spanish beaches
MADRID A local government official warned coastal residents to brace for the worst this weekend as another massive oil slick from a sunken tanker drifted toward shore yesterday.
The official also said the tanker Prestige, which was carrying about 20 million gallons when it sank, probably is still leaking petroleum from the bottom of the ocean.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Serbian waiter convicted of killing Muslims
THE HAGUE A U.N. war-crimes tribunal yesterday convicted a Bosnian Serb of killing five men because they were Muslims and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
Mitar Vasiljevic, a waiter who joined a brutal Bosnian-Serb paramilitary group known for atrocities against civilians during the 1992-95 war, was acquitted of eight other counts of war crimes by the tribunal.
Vasiljevic, 48, was found guilty of being part of a Serbian execution squad that killed five men and severely wounded two others, shooting them on the bank of the Drina River on June 7, 1992.

MALAYSIA
Muslim militant arrested from terror group
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia has arrested a midlevel leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah, a terror organization allied with al Qaeda and blamed for the Oct. 12 bombings in Bali that killed nearly 200 people.
The suspect was arrested on Monday, a government official said yesterday on the condition of anonymity. He said most of the Jemaah Islamiyah's leaders are either in custody or have gone abroad, probably to Indonesia.

JORDAN
Government outlaws anti-American Islamists
AMMAN Jordan yesterday outlawed Islamist-dominated groups campaigning against Israel and U.S. interests as Amman tightens its grip on political dissent in advance of a potential war with Iraq, officials said.
Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb told opposition-dominated union leaders the government could no longer tolerate political activity by offshoot committees they run that have lobbied for years against the United States and against a 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

SOUTH AFRICA
White extremists targeted in police raids
JOHANNESBURG South African police raided scores of farms and other homes yesterday in a crackdown on white racist extremists suspected of the worst string of bombings since majority-black rule began in 1994.
Police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said 94 farms and other homes were being searched across the country, and a number of people had been arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as other offenses.


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